Gut Rumbles

July 23, 2005

piece of shit

old gun.bmp

A reader sent me this picture and wanted to know how to unload this gun. He evidently inherited it from his brother and knows nothing about it, except for the fact that it's a .22. I believe that I would unload it in a garbage can, because the thing looks neglected as hell to me.

Notice the fucking duct tape on the grip? The rust on the hammer? The overall look of being hauled around in a salt-water tacklebox for years? I'd be afraid to shoot that sumbitch for fear that it might blow up in my hand. But I dunno. It might be old and worth keeping if somebody knew how to clean it up and repair it.

I like old guns. But this one looks like a very abused cheapie to me. I have no idea what make or model it is.

Do YOU think there's any hope for it?

(I DID tell the guy how to unload it, although he shouldn't listen to me. I don't own any guns.)


I can't say what it is for sure, but it certainly resembles any number of cheap .22 solid-frame revolvers that were sold from about 1900 through 1950. Many of the gun firms that offered these for sale went out of business after a few years. Iver Johnson is the most famous of the bunch, and they actually managed to produce some more worthy guns as well as cheapo POS's.

Like I said, I can't say for sure without looking the gun over personally. Even so I would be very surprised if you could get more than $150 for a gun like that if it was perfectly preserved, brand new, never-been-fired and in it's original box.


Posted by: James R. Rummel on July 23, 2005 07:03 PM

I could be mistaken, but it looks like an old Harrington & Richardson revolver.

Unless the bore is badly rusted or the chambers, there's a good chance that a good cleaning & oiling would put it in good working order. They're not that bad to take apart and reassemble.

Hell, man, if you don't want it, send it to me!

James is probably right about the value, if the bore and chambers are good, probably about $50-60 as is.

Posted by: Mark on July 23, 2005 07:14 PM

If you're not that attached to it, watch the newspaper and wait until your local PD has some sort of gun buyback (read: bullshit), and then take advantage of whatever they offer. i have pry half a dozen old shitty worthless revolvers in my desk for just that purpose. you come out ahead, and it wastes the anti-gun peoples wampum

Posted by: heath on July 23, 2005 07:38 PM

Yeah its probably a POS but if the cylinder and bore are not rusted bad, its worth cleaning up and keeping in the tackle box. Not much chance of a .22 blowing up on you unless its one of the newer POS made out of polymer.

Posted by: assrot on July 23, 2005 08:09 PM

Pull tab under barrel out, flip cylinder open.

Ensure hammer is NOT cocked.

OR pull trigger 6 times whilst pointing it at a tree.

Posted by: Yogimus on July 23, 2005 08:11 PM

If this is the cheap POS I think it is, it is doesn't have a swing-out cylinder, the entire cylinder must be removed. Post a pic of the other side of the gun and we can give you more help.

If if is what I think it is; pull the cylinder pin all the way out, the cylinder will then be loose and will probibly fall out. Unload away.

I've seen this gun in .32 S&W before, and if he can get $50 for it, take it without asking questions!

Posted by: Curtis on July 23, 2005 08:43 PM

it's an Iver Johnson Target Sealed 8.

To unload, push the lever under the barrel, on the lower front of the frame, and pull the cylinder pin out. The cylinder will come out to the right side.

If the barrel is bright, they're worth about $120. The rust can be cleaned up. Grips are still available at Numrich gun parts.

Posted by: og on July 23, 2005 09:27 PM

Oh, here's a picture of one for comparison:

Scroll about halfway down the page.

Posted by: og on July 23, 2005 09:29 PM

I just hope he can get the cylinder pin back in once he takes it apart. I recommened a lot of WD-40 and some good gun oil.

Plus--- CLEAN the damned thing before you put it back together.

Posted by: Acidman on July 24, 2005 12:51 AM

Had an old Iver Johnson when I was just a kid(teenager). It had a 5 or 6 inch barrel and you removed the cylinder to load and unload. I was not a cheap POS. I WAS a sturdy and inexpensive .22 cal revolver that gave good service until I could lay hands on something more sophisticated. At times, I wish I still had it. The fishing gun I have now is a High Standard Sentinel with a 2 inch barrel with the Revelation name on it cause it was sold by Western Auto. Remember those days?

Posted by: Jim on July 24, 2005 06:05 AM

Fine Steel wool (0000) is what is used to clean and polish bluing right from the bluing tanks. It's safe to use on blued guns, for the most part. On this one, you have nothing to lose. Do NOT use rust remover of any kind; bluing itself has similar properties to rust, and will be removed by rust remover. Plenty of Hoppe's No. 9 and Rem Oil is also indicated.

Posted by: og on July 24, 2005 07:09 AM

There's a stuff called Blue Wonder gun cleaner
that will take off rust without touching the remaining bluing. It's also the best stuff I've found for lead fouling in a bore.

Posted by: Mark on July 24, 2005 11:06 AM

To A-man - thanks for the help. To everyone else - thanks for the info and suggestions.

I plan on cleaning it ASAP and holding onto it for awhile. Whether or not I'll actually fire it... I guess I'll wait and see.

Thanks all.

Posted by: dave on July 24, 2005 09:35 PM

That pistol is an Iver Johnson .22 caliber revolver known as the I.J. TARGET SEALED 8. It's an eight shot revolver. I have one that i have kept in excellent condition by not shooting it very often and keeping it nice and clean. My grandfather was given the pistol in a trade for some lumber by an old Native American friend of his who inherited it from his grandmother who used it to shoot rattlers on the reservation she lived on. My grandpa gave it to me as a gift about 20 years ago.
Not the straightest shooting pistol for anything more than 20 feet or so, but it'll do the job on snakes, gophers and other varmints.

Posted by: Slathrop on July 22, 2006 10:33 PM

Well, looks like I'm late on this message board, but it is definitely an Iver Johnson Target Sealed 8 from the 1960s or so. The one in the picture is in miserable condition in so many ways! The one I have shoots straight and true, but the front sight is thinner than a dime and the rear sight is integral with the top of hammer. VERY difficult to line up! I see the owner has used duck tape to add grip to the handle.. the original wood grips can slide up and down you're hands if sweaty. I solved it with $2.99 baseball bat tape, and it doesn't look that bad either! Also, it shoots CHEAP .22 Long - that's the best part!

Posted by: Arty on April 13, 2008 04:32 PM
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